A surprise package arrived at the Spice Lounge restaurant in Paraparaumu Beach last week.
The restaurant received an award from Menulog, New Zealand's largest online takeaway and home delivery website, for Best Indian Restaurant in Wellington.
The package held a trophy, framed certificate and letter explaining that, based on combination of "popularity, restaurant reviews and customer satisfaction," Spice Lounge had won the Menulog 2018 Summer award.
The Menulog restaurant awards are bi-annual with the winter awards announced in July.
While the award arrived as a surprise for the team, owner Preet Sethi and manager Rob Singh were not surprised that they had been rated highly by their customers.
"Food and service are our top two priorities," Preet said.
"We focus on top quality service and make no compromises on sourcing quality ingredients."
Established in 2015, the restaurant has only been running for three years and while Preet said business was slow to start with, as expected when no one knew who they were, the business is now a well and truly established part of the Paraparaumu community.
"We have a huge clientele of regulars," Rob said.
"Seventy to 80 per cent of our customers are regulars, which we love."
"We are getting more and more repeat customers.
"It's always a good sign when you get lots of regulars.
"Knowing their names and order is important to us.
"Sometimes we don't even have to go to their table."
Retaining staff has also been important for Preet, who has had the same chefs and front of house staff since day one.
"Our chefs are very experienced.
"Our head chef has had more than 20 years' experience in Dubai, South Africa, and New Zealand."
The Spice Lounge likes to change their menu, regularly updating it and adding new dishes, but they are very aware of their customers and retaining the dishes which people love and expect.
Having studied business management, Rob is aware of how important it is to have a regular clientele.
"We know we are doing something right when we are getting repeat customers and constantly getting good reviews.
"It's important not to take away their favorite dishes."
The award is proudly displayed at the restaurant on Seaview Rd along with multiple Trip Advisor awards for excellence.